A Sincere Faith
ISSL Lesson Summary for Sunday, January 7, 2018
Rev. Fabian K. Jacko, Pastor
Greater Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church, Dallas, TX
Certain stories and characters from the Old Testament have provided for us a wonderful sense of heroism down through the years. Their tests of courage have for every child of God proved to be a most valuable resource for spiritual growth and maturity. The story of Daniel is one of them.
Images of a fiery furnace, mysterious hand writing on the wall and praying in the den of lions have long been in the heads of young Christians who while enduring their own struggles faithfully believe that God will deliver them in the same supernatural ways. However, we must remember that before great acts of God’s favor is enjoyed trials of our faith will be employed.
The lesson opens with Daniel and his Hebrew friends - Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah being given the Babylonian names Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively (Daniel 1:6-7). It was an attempt to change their allegiance to Jehovah God and the country of their birth.
The initial test given these men was to eat the daily ration of meat and wine from King Nebuchadnezzar’s table. Daniel is obviously troubled that they are asked to participate in an act which goes against their beliefs. He is emphatic about not defiling himself with such provisions, knowing that they either came from meat sacrificed to Babylonian gods and that to adhere to this policy was a direct affront to the food regulations in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 11).
Unfortunately, this is where we “Strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel (Matthew 23:24)." Are there some laws we practice only within the confines of the sacred or are we to follow the practice to the letter, home or abroad?
Daniel’s request to not participate was met with objection by the prince of the eunuchs and his servant. However, with great persuasion the four were allowed to eat an alternative diet of pulse (vegetables) and water for 10 days. In the end, Daniel and his three friends pass the test and appear healthier than those that ate the King’s meal over the same period of time. In this their request was justified by their faithfulness to God and in the end respected by the servant.
Isn’t it impressive how God works in the Hebrews favor? He does the same for us today when we faithfully put our trust in Him. Even more so, God seems to always have someone attentive to the misfortune of His children. For Joseph it was the keeper of the prison. For Moses it was Pharaoh’s daughter. For Daniel it was Melzar. In your time of despair just know that God has got you covered.
The next test was an attempt to train the four men in “the ways and language of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 1:4). However, these young men from Judah had been prepared in advance by God with “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom” (Daniel 1:17). So, when King Nebuchadnezzar sent for them to be tested he found them to be more competent than any of the pagan magicians and astrologers.
For over twenty-one centuries believers have had to exhibit sincere faith in God to warn, preserve and at times deliver them from multitudes of confusion. What He did then He is still able to do to this day!
Where is Your Faith In God (Rev. James Cleveland – Savoy Records 1985)
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith will keep you when your way seems dark; Faith, faith, where is your faith in God?
Christians, you say that you love the Lord, And yet we complain that each day seems hard. Into each life some rain must fall; Faith, faith, where is your faith in God?
Faith can move mountains, Faith can open the fountain, Oh, faith can help you succeed, Oh, faith can supply your every need; Where is your faith in God?